Friday, March 4, 2011

Spinach, Cheddar, Onion and Bacon Quiche - Guest Blog by The Naked Gardener

Today's post is from a special guest: The Naked Gardener

Pie Crust:
2c flour
1 3/4 sticks of butter
pinch of salt
enough chilled water to make the dough 

Chunk up the butter into half inch cubes, making sure not to warm it up too much. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut the butter in to the flour and salt until it all resembles crumbs about the size of peas. Add the chilled water a few tablespoons at a time until the dough forms. Flour a flat surface (like the counter) and knead it a few times, folding it in on itself. Put it in a bowl dusted with flour, cover it with a towel or plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least twenty minutes.

The quiche filling:
one medium yellow onion
one block of cheddar (extra sharp is my favourite)
4 eggs
pinch of salt

Shred the cheese and set aside.

Slice the onion. (If you find that the fumes make you cry, cut your onion near an open flame, like a candle.) Melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan on medium heat. Toss in the onion and let caramelize-add a pinch or two of sugar to help the process. Stir the onion to coat it in the butter and sugar. Turn the heat down and add a lid, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until the onion is nice and brown. This will take a few minutes, remain patient. Remove from heat and set aside.

Rinse the spinach in a collander. Remove any long woody stems. While still damp, toss it in a pan over medium heat, sprinkle with a touch of salt and let it wilt. Remove from heat and set aside. 

Add the four eggs to a bowl with a splash of milk and a pinch of salt. DO NOT MIX YET. Set aside. (They need to be room temperature before the are added to the rest of the ingredients, otherwise it may bake unevenly.)

Fry up the bacon so that it is mostly done. It will finish cooking in the oven. Set aside.

Go back to the dough:

Pull the dough out of the fridge and dump out onto a floured surface. Fold it in on itself a couple of times. Flour a rolling pin. Roll the dough out to a quarter of an inch thickness, making sure the it is of a large enough diameter that it will fit into your pie plate. Gently lift the crust off of the counter and rest it on the floured rolling pin. Gently use the rolling pin to help you lay the crust over the pie plate and press it in so that it conforms to the shape of the plate. Trim any excess off of the top. Place in a 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes to par-bake--this prevents the crust from getting to soggy on the bottom. 

Return to your other ingredients:

Assemble the onion and the spinach in one bowl. Now you may beat your eggs and milk together. Add them to the onion and spinach. Stir to distribute evenly. Add the cheese and stir again, gently. Pour this into your par-baked pie shell. 

Arrange the bacon on the top and bake for 45 minutes at 350F. Test it by wiggling the dish. If it jiggles around more than just a little bit, bake for a few more minutes. A little bit of movement is ok as it will continue to set as it cools.

After removing from the oven, let cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes.

For best results, enjoy with friends!

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